The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 31: 1-7 The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.
We often speak of the necessity of fathers disciplining and teaching their children, and how that responsibility falls squarely upon their shoulders. Yet as we see in our text today, the role which mothers play in teaching their sons cannot be overlooked. King Lemuel, thought to be King Solomon by some, was taught by his mother. The sad irony of this text, if it is King Solomon referred to here, is that he is taught this lesson by his mother Bathsheba on the heels of an adulterous, murderous affair between her and his father, King David. Surely this is a bitter lesson taught by a mother who knew full well the ramifications of the warning we see in our text today. Matthew Henry says in regards to this text "Let the sufferings of others be thy warnings." If the mother spoken of here is Bathsheba, who would know the sting of sexual sin better than her? It cost her a faithful husband, Uriah, and the child born from the perverted union.
Scripture speaks of a time for everything under the sun, including war (Ecclesiastes 3:8). In 2 Samuel 8 we read in that day, the time for Kings to go off to battle was the spring. King David chose to not go to war in its appointed time, and wound up stumbling into sexual sin like an ox being led to the slaughter. This was a man after God's own heart, the sweet psalmist, the anointed King. David delighted in the Law of God, to include the seventh commandment which states "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Yet, because he chose to neglect his duty, he found himself ensnared by the lust of the flesh and it cost others their lives.
Mothers and fathers, each one of you have stumbled into sexual sin at some point in your life, whether it be sin which was confined to a screen, sin which had a safe harbor in your mind, or sin which manifested itself out in the open for all to see. As painful, uncomfortable, and old fashioned you may think it to be, you must warn your children of the dangers of sexual sin. Who better than you knows how sexual sin can worm its way into the deepest recess of your heart? Who better than you knows how a second glance at some strange flesh can lead to a sinful fantasy playing out on loop in your mind? Who knows better than you how easily manipulated we are by flattering speech, when men hint at how they can fill a void in a woman's life that her husband cannot, or when a woman boasts of a man's great strength or prowess?
Mothers and fathers, many of you have sons and daughters of an age where hormones and sins are running rampant, and if you are not warning your children of the snares and pitfalls of sexual sin you are failing in your duties as a parent. If you think your teenage son or daughter wouldn't do that, or that your little precious isn't thinking of these things, find me after church and I will tell you stories of my experience in youth groups as a teenager. A good, nice, polite, Christian teen.
The command and warning for us today is "Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings." Mothers and fathers, sexual sin will destroy your sons and daughters. It cannot be taken too lightly, and there is no time like the present to begin teaching your children of these snares. It is a sin which has lifelong ramifications, one which we are told to FLEE!
The telltale signs of impending sexual sin are obvious if one cares to see.
Lack of safe boundaries.
We must be teaching our sons to respect other young men and women as brothers and sisters in Christ. In other words, fostering a healthy, God honoring relationship between young men and women which isn't blind and ignorant to the fact that young men and women, teenage boys and girls, and yes, even pre-teen boys and girls are quite capable of sexual sin and will jump through every hoop, and fool you with every well placed "yes mam" and polite lie to satisfy their lusts. Parents, don't be so naive to think "not my child".
Warn them, mothers and fathers, or do you not know that the sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Matthew Henry again says :
"Give not thy strength unto women, unto strange women. He must not be soft and effeminate, nor spend that time in a vain conversation with the ladies which should be spent in getting knowledge and despatching business, nor employ that wit (which is the strength of the soul) in courting and complimenting them which he should employ about the affairs of his government. "Especially shun all adultery, fornication, and lasciviousness, which waste the strength of the body, and bring into it dangerous diseases. Give not thy ways, thy affections, thy conversation, to that which destroys kings, which has destroyed many, which gave such a shock to the kingdom even of David himself, in the matter of Uriah. Let the sufferings of others be thy warnings." It lessens the honour of kings and makes them mean. Are those fit to govern others that are themselves slaves to their own lusts? It makes them unfit for business, and fills their court with the basest and worst of animals. Kings lie exposed to temptations of this kind, having wherewith both to please the humours and to bear the charges of the sin, and therefore they ought to double their guard; and, if they would preserve their people from the unclean spirit, they must themselves be patterns of purity. Meaner people may also apply it to themselves. Let none give their strength to that which destroys souls."
As Solomon the wise stated, there is a time for everything under the sun, and that includes play. However, I am talking especially you you boys on the verge of your teens, and those who have moved closer to manhood, if it is all play, all the time and you are not developing a war strategy right now when you are 10, 11, 12, 13 years old, for how you will battle lusts: you are going to stumble into sexual sin like a stupid ox with every sweet little Christian homeschool girl who bats her eyes at you. Young ladies, if you aren't prepared to go to war in its due season, which regarding sexual sin is a constant, always present battle whether you realize it or not, you will fall prey to the smooth words of a devil disguised as a polite, fun, friendly Christian boy, and that precious gift of your virginity will be soiled and stained.
Brothers and sisters, sexual purity is so very important because in the end, sin of this nature is a sin against God Who is Holy, Holy, Holy. The relationship between man and woman in marriage is a picture of Christ and His spotless bride, the Church, clothed in His righteousness, living under His care and protection. Sexual sin subverts God's plan for men, women, boys, and girls. It is a distortion of His pure, undefiled relationship to the Church, and we must teach our sons and daughters of the serious, soul damning nature of it. If you take a position of wanting to give your child space, or letting them figure things out on their own, or "my little innocent precious would never do that", you are setting your child up for a certain fall.
As Christ loves the Church, parents ought to teach their sons to value the young ladies as the precious treasures they are, and teach their daughters that all their worth is found in Christ, not the opinion of a foolish little boy with no self control. In the end, none of this is possible apart from the Grace of God.
So if you are able at this time, please kneel as we go boldly to the Throne of Grace. May God grant us repentance and renewed faith in His Son Jesus.
We have sinned against You and You alone.
All of our sins of word, thought, and deed are before You: none escape Your gaze.
Father, I pray for the parents here who have failed to warn their children of the dangers of sexual sin, that You might bring them to repentance. Father, I pray for the young men and women who have been ensnared by lust, those who have been carried along by the flattering words of smooth talking youths, those who have the hooks of pornography in their flesh, and those who are stumbling headlong into destruction: please show them grace and hold them back.
I pray for those among us who have stumbled into open rebellion that you might bring them to repentance, heal the wounds this blasphemous sin inflicts, and use them as a loving warning to the Church that we ought flee sexual immorality and the burning of unchecked lusts, or burn for eternity. Father, help us to love one another and strive for the purity of Your Church. In Jesus's Name we pray, amen.
Please join me in standing and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to his church:
Colossians 1:19-23 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!